I'm just starting to use a tumbler for metal polishing. I have both
porcelain cylindrical media in two sizes and dri-shine III.The
dri-shine should obviously be used dry:) But for the porcelain
media, should I use water and soap? How much? Same for the
dri-shine, how much is necessary? Thanks for your help
Rebecca - If your cylindrical media is for cut down, an alkaline
descaling or deburring soluADtion is used. These compounds are
usually sold as a concentrated liquid. Powdered compounds are
available to mix with water. Finishing compounds serve to suspend
solids, lubricate media, and retard or prevent oxidation of work
pieces. Use of liquid dishwashing soap or common household
detergents is not recommended. There is science to this, and use of
the prepared chemistry is the best way to get good predictable
In a vibratory tumbler, the amount of media used is normally 80 to
90% of capacity. In a closed system, (the liquid does not flow
thru), you need to experiment on how much liquid to use. Too much
liquid will keep the media from working, too little will result in
accumulated grit on your jewelry. In a little TV-5, I’d use about a
cup of liquid for example.
Any abrasive media should be broken in prior to use. Run the new
media for 5 to 6 hours with the appropriate liquid. Check the
process every hour or two to make sure the crud from the sharp media
has not accumulated. You will probably have to change liquid at
least once. When the media is broken in, you will no longer feel
sharp edges on the ends of your cylinders.
If you have more questions, several suppliers carry a small book I
wrote on tumble finishing.
Tumble Finishing for handmade Jewelery
by Judy Hoch
Read Excerpts this book at:
Judy Hoch, G.G.